Volume 2, Issue 4 , August-September 1998




In this issue:

ECOSOC Concludes its Substantive Session
Back to the Future - Development Indicators
Development through Partnership Meeting is Planned
August-October Meetings
Advisory Services
Just Issued
Africa , Statistics , Sustainable Development
Meetings Held
New on the Web

ECOSOC Concludes its Substantive Session

The ECOSOC 1998 session concluded with statements from the Group of 77, theEuropean Union, the US and other delegations expressing satisfaction at the outcome of thesession, particularly at its high-level, coordination and humanitarian segments. The fact thatthe Council could agree on such issues as market access and human rights was attributed tointensive preparations and the high quality of the reports submitted. President Somavia, inhis concluding statement, listed a series of firsts and suggested that this year could be aturning point for the Council as an effective forum for policy coordination and developmentwith the United Nations system.

1. High-level segment (6-8 July)

Mr. Annan’s opening statement was followed by the so-called high level policydialogue with the Managing Director of the IMF, the President of the World Bank, theSecretary-General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) andthe Deputy Director-General of World Trade Organization (WTO). The main focus of thedialogue was on the Asian financial crisis and its repercussions. The participation of theSecretary-General was an important contributing factor in this regard. His statement wasvery well received.

The Council then conducted its high-level debate on the theme of "market access and adopted a concise but rather comprehensive ministerial communiqué . The reportbefore the meeting was well received all around, and the fact that it was a joint product ofUNCTAD and the WTO was seen as a successful example of inter-agency cooperation insupport of the Council. A panel was held during the high level segment with interventionsfrom Mr. Bergsten, Professor Bhagwati and Ms. Cattaui. The participation of Ms. Fréchetteas the panel’s moderator was widely appreciated.

2. Operational activities segment (9-10, 13 and 14 July)

The four-day segment included a high-level debate on the advancement of women; anexchange between delegations and the executive heads of UN funds and programmes(UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and WFP); consideration of the reports of the executive boardsof the Funds and Programmes; panel discussions with senior external consultants on impactevaluation, and with the country teams of the Resident Coordinator system in Guatemala andMozambique; and consideration of a preliminary version of the Secretary-General report forthe 53rd General Assembly’s triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activitiesof the UN system.

The two country teams brought to the Council first-hand insights on challenges andopportunities inherent in the system’s operational activities and provided concrete examplesof the progress being made in UN system coordination and the implementation of theSecretary-General’s reform programme. An important new element was the activeparticipation of officials from capitals.

Delegates stressed the importance of reversing the current negative trends in resourceflows for development cooperation. Other main topics addressed included the strengtheningof the Resident Coordinator system, the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF)process, the follow-up to global conferences at the country level, relationship with theBretton Woods institutions, and the linkages between humanitarian assistance anddevelopment activities.

Three resolutions were adopted, on gender mainstreaming in the operational activitiesof the UN system; on the triennial review, providing guidance for the finalization of theSecretary-General’s report to the General Assembly; and on reporting from the Funds andProgrammes. The latter is intended to strengthen the Council’s policy oversight role vis-a-visthe executive boards of these entities.

3. Humanitarian affairs segment (15-16 July)

This new segment was on the theme: Strengthening the coordination of humanitarianactivities of the UN system. The need for adequate budgetary resources for theCoordinator’s Office was repeatedly emphasized and reflected in the Agreed Conclusionsadopted at the end of the segment.

4. Coordination segment (17, 21 and 22 July)

This segment was about: Coordinated follow-up and implementation of the ViennaDeclaration and Programme of Action (VDPA). The High Commissioner for HumanRights introduced the Secretary-General’s report. This was followed by a panel discussionwith the High Commissioner, the Executive Director of UNICEF, the Administrator ofUNDP, the Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and the Advancementof Women, and a representative of OCHA. The High Commissioner noted that while thefoundations for coordinated action by the UN system in this area were now in place, workhad to be strengthened at the national and field levels to assist governments in their efforts toattain the goals set by the VDPA.

After a rather protracted negotiating process, the Council adopted agreed conclusionswhich were generally regarded as advancing consensus on integrating human rights into theUN system’s economic and social work, and on the balance between civil and politicalrights on the one hand and economic, social and cultural rights on the other, in the context ofthe right to development.

5. General segment (20 and 23-30 July)

During this segment, in addition to reviewing the reports of its functionalcommissions, the Council addressed the issues of the coordinated follow-up to globalconferences and the implementation of GA resolutions 52/12B and 50/227 on reform in theeconomic and social fields.

On the coordinated follow-up to global conferences, the Council decided to hold atwo-day special meeting in the spring of next year on indicators to monitor progress, and toconsider undertaking in the year 2000, as a possible contribution to the MillenniumAssembly, an overall review of progress within the UN system towards the implementationof conference goals.

On restructuring and revitalizing of the UN in the economic, social and related fields,the Council decided to streamline and improve the working methods of its subsidiary bodies: it reduced the membership of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development(from 53 to 33 members), merged the Committees on Natural Resources and New andRenewable Sources of Energy into a single Committee on Energy and Natural Resources forDevelopment (with reduced membership from 36 each to 24 for the new body) and renamedthe Committee for Development Planning as the Committee for Development Policy, withnew methods of work which link more closely the Committee’s programme of work with theCouncil’s agenda. These measures are estimated to result in net savings in the currentregular budget.

The Secretary-General’s recommendations on the review of the regional commissionswere also welcomed and generally endorsed.

At its resumed session, the Council is expected to focus on further improvements inits working methods particularly as they relate to their provision of policy guidance for thework of its functional commissions.

Finally, members of the Council agreed to focus the high level segment next year onpoverty and employment, and the coordination segment on the follow-up by the system to theSecretary-General’s report on Africa.

Patrizio Civili

The documentation of the Council is available online at: http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/1998doc.htm


Back to the Future - Development Indicators

The date is 3 August 2007.

As part of its 10th anniversary celebration DESA has launched Version 3.0 of its DevelopmentInformation Platform (DIP). During a technical presentation, the Director of the Statistics Division recalledthat the roots of DIP were reaching back as far as the last century: "At the time there was quite anextensive debate on various sets of indicators, on the definition of some of those indicators and on how tocompile them". In 1998 DESA launched a pilot project, together with ILO, FAO and UNESCO to compilean inventory of those development indicators, that were used and useable at that time for monitoring the thefollow-up to world conferences. "After compiling the inventory information, we decided to make itavailable on the Internet, as a kind of road map for users of development information. Even though theeffort was broadly based, we declined to call it 'HUSUSO-GEBA-ECO-DEMO-DIP' (human, sustainable,social, gender balanced, economic and demographic development information platform), as was proposed atthe time", the Director remembered.

The USG of DESA emphasized that the work on the inventory and on DIP had created a veryfruitful dialogue both inside DESA as well as outside with all relevant UN agencies involved indevelopment. "The best proof for the widespread agreement on the usefulness of this endeavour was thatduring the difficult financial crisis years of 2002/3 (also referred to as 'Re-Reform + 5') the resources forthe first comprehensive upgrade to DIP version 2.0 were made available", she said.

The chairperson of the virtual expert group on development indicators, quoting from the report onthe 'Twelfth Simultaneous Log-on' in April 2007, stated that "DIP had sparked a broad based discussion onconcepts and methods regarding development information in general. The creation of the virtual expertgroup was one of the consequences, and many problems relating to the definition of indicators could beresolved in this new forum."

Last, but not least, the representative from the mission of Utopia expressed satisfaction that the DIPinitiative had caused a more efficient flow of information from the national to the international level. "Tenyears ago, countries were overburdened by requests for information from various UN offices. Today, inparticular the 'one indicator, one lead agency' principle and the creation of 'country information teams' haseliminated some of the traffic jams in the international information flow".

Stefan Schweinfest

For further 'historical' information on what happened back in 1998, please contact: Grace Bediako,Tel. (212) 963-7771, Fax (212) 963-1549, E-mail: bediako@un.org or Stefan Schweinfest, Tel. (212) 963-4849, Fax (212) 963-1374, E-mail: schweinfest@un.org


Development Through Partnership Meeting is Planned

On 17 and 18 September, Member States will meet to consider the social and economic impact ofglobalization and interdependence and their policy implications. In order to stimulate high-level interestand ensure interactive dialogue, the event will combine plenary meetings and ministerial round tables. Thetopic for the first ministerial round table will be the social and economic impact of globalizaton: nationalresponses and for the second ministerial round table, the social and economic impact of globalization:international responses . Participation by the Secretary-General is expected at the opening plenary sessionof the dialogue on 17 September. In order to benefit from the widest possible range of inputs,contributions of non-State actors involved in, and affected by, globalization will be provided by twoinformal panels representing a broad spectrum of professional experiences and backgrounds, as well asdifferent geographical perspectives.

Serguei Kambalov

Contact: Serguei Kambalov, Tel. (212) 963-4751, Fax (212) 963-5935, E-mail: kambalov@un.org


AUGUST-OCTOBER MEETINGS

Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF), Second Session
Geneva, 24 August-4 September

There is a great deal of expectation associated with this meeting which will be the first substantivesession of the Forum. The three consultation meetings convened by the two co-chairs of the IFF in NewYork in January, April and July of 1998 have been well attended, with countries showing great interest inthe preparations for IFF II.

The number of side events during IFF II is still growing with a total of 20 meetings and eventsannounced so far. These include briefings on government led initiatives, activities of internationalorganizations, NGO initiatives, as well as a policy workshop on forests and carbon sequestration and afield trip. The whole IFF Secretariat will move to Geneva for the two-week session and associatedmeetings.

Advance unedited texts of documentation for this session can be found on the Internet at the web siteof the IFF - http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/iff.htm

Contact: Tage Michaelsen, Tel. (212) 963-5294, Fax (212) 963-3463, E-mail: michaelsen@un.org

Expert Group Meeting on National Machineries for Gender Equality
Santiago, Chile, 31 August-4 September
The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), in conjunction with the EconomicCommission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) is organizing an Expert Group Meeting onNational Machineries for Gender Equality, to be held in Santiago, Chile, 31 August-4 September.

This meeting will analyse the progress made with establishing national machineries for genderequality and will develop recommendations for policy makers. Ten experts will report on experiences intheir countries and/or regions on assessing the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in thisregard. Based on this cross-regional analysis, experts will analyse what determines success. The result ofthe meeting will be a set of recommendations on improving the capacity of national machineries tomainstream gender in all policies and programmes. The outcome of the meeting will be submitted to the43rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women in March 1999, for its discussion on the criticalarea of concern, "institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women".

Documentation: Aide-mémoire for the Expert Group Meeting on national machineries, available from room DC2-1215 and posted online: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/news/national.htm

Contact person: Christina Janssen, Tel. (212) 963-3787, E-mail:janssenc@un.org

Preparatory Committee for the Second Tokyo International Conference on African Development(TICAD II), Third Meeting Addis Ababa, 7-8 September

Subsequent to its meeting in Dakar in March 1998 and in Harare in June 1998, the PreparatoryCommittee for TICAD II will meet for the third time in Addis Ababa, 7-8 September 1998 to review andfinalize the draft Agenda for Action that should be adopted at TICAD II. OSCAL will participate as co-organizer in providing substantive support to the meeting.

Contact: Makha Sarr, Tel. (212) 963-5084, Fax. (212) 963-3892, E-mail: sarr@un.org

International Consultation on Research and Information Systems in Forestry (ICRIS)Ort/Gmunden, Austria, 7-10 September

This initiative is sponsored by Indonesia and Austria in cooperation with the International Union ofForest Research Organization (IUFRO), the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), FAO andthe IFF Secretariat. Jag Maini and Tage Michaelsen will participate.

Contact: Tage Michaelsen, Tel. (212) 963-5294, Fax (212) 963-3463, E-mail: michaelsen@un.org

International Experts Workshop on Forest Conservation and Protected AreasCanberra, 9-11 September

An in-depth study on Forest Conservation and Protected Areas, in support of the IntergovernmentalForum of Forests, is being sponsored by the Government of Australia. An International Experts Workshopis scheduled for in Canberra, Australia. The tentative date of completion of the study is the end ofDecember 1998. Jaime Hurtubia will attend the meeting in Canberra.

Contact: Jaime Hurtubia, Tel. (212) 963-4219, Fax (212) 963-3463, E-mail: hurtubia@un.org

Consultative Committee on Programme and Operational Questions (CCPOQ)New York, July and September

The CCPOQ was recently reconvened in informal session in order to review the discussion note onthe Secretary-General’s report on the triennial comprehensive policy review of the United Nations system’soperational activities for development. This agenda item and other items including the approval of CCPOQguidelines on the Resident Coordinator System will be taken up by the 13th CCPOQ session to be held inSeptember 1998, when CCPOQ members will have the opportunity to review the finalized the TriennialComprehensive Policy Review before the 53rd General Assembly session starts.

Contact: Massimo D’Angelo, Tel. (212) 963-4731, Fax (212) 963-2812

General Assembly, 53rd session
New York, 9 September-December

See article on next DESA News.

Meeting of the Panel of High-Level Personalities on African Development
New York, mid-September

The recently reconstituted Panel of High-level Personalities on African Development will hold itsfirst meeting in September 1998 to exchange views on the recommendations contained in the Secretary-General’s report on the Causes of Conflict and Promotion of Durable Peace and SustainableDevelopment in Africa . Specifically, the Panel will take stock of various initiatives under way in supportof African development with a view to advising on ways and means for increasing their impact. The Panelwill also review the recommendations made by the Secretary-General with respect to African countries’external debt and access of their products to international markets. OSCAL will prepare and service themeeting.

Contact: Makha Sarr, Tel. (212) 963-5084, Fax. (212) 963-3892, E-mail: sarr@un.org

Consultations with Africa’s Bilateral Partners
New York, 23 September

As a follow-up to the Secretary-General’s report on Africa, the Deputy Secretary-General will holdconsultations with foreign ministers of the Development Assistance Committee of OECD on ODA levels inAfrican countries and their outstanding debts. OSCAL and UNDP will prepare the background material forthe consultations in light of the relevant recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary-General.

Contact: Makha Sarr, Tel. (212) 963-5084, Fax. (212) 963-3892, E-mail: sarr@un.org

Expert Group Meeting on Women and Health -- Mainstreaming the Gender Perspective into theHealth Sector
Tunis, 28 September-2 October

The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) is organizing jointly with the World HealthOrganization (WHO) an Expert Group Meeting on Women and Health - Mainstreaming the GenderPerspective into the Health Sector . It is hosted by the Ministry for Woman and Family Affairs inTunisia. The Meeting will contribute to the discussion of the priority theme Women and Health", one ofthe critical areas of concern in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action which will be considered by the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-third session in March 1999.

Experts will analyse selected health areas and programmes (e.g. reproductive health, environmentalhealth, tuberculosis and mental health) and health related topics (e.g. health technology, health financing) from a gender perspective. They will also develop a framework for integrating the gender perspectiveinto health care policies, programmes and research, which would provide guidance and support tocountries.

The Division for the Advancement of Women is planning a virtual conference on women and healthprior to the Expert Group Meeting (see below).

Documentation: Aide-mémoire for the Expert Group Meeting on Women and Health - Mainstreaming the Gender Perspective into the Health Sector , available from Room DC2-1215 and online: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/healthaide.htm

Contact: Maria Hartl, Tel: (212) 963-3140, E-mail: hartl@un.org

Online Conference on Mainstreaming the Gender Perspective into the Health Sector
September

The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) will host an online conference prior to theExpert Group Meeting on Mainstreaming the Gender Perspective into the Health Sector. It will serve togenerate discussions and identify key issues that will contribute to the discussion of the Group.

The conference will be held in the first three weeks of September and will be conductedconcurrently via the conference web and e-mail, so as to ensure maximum participation. All the postingswill be archived, indexed and searchable on the conference website. The conference will be kept open, sothat anyone can attend, but will be moderated, so that messages will be filtered to ensure relevance and toavoid information overload. Several live chat sessions on topics relevant to health and women will bescheduled during the Group meeting.

In the first week the topics to be discussed will be gender analysis and its implication for specifichealth problems; tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS; mental health; environmental health; and reproductivehealth. In the second week, topics include gender analysis and its implications for specific health relatedtopics; health sector reform; strategies for health care financing; access to and use of health services; andhealth education and promotion. The third and final week will be devoted to the plenary.

Contact: Dong Wu, Tel: (212) 963-0272, E-mail: wud@un.org

Workshop on UNDAF Guidelines
Turin, 29 September-1 October

In August and September, the Sub-Group on Programme Policy and Programming of the UNDevelopment Group (UNDG) of which the Development Cooperation Policy Branch is a member on behalfof DESA, will complete the assessment of the pilot phase of the United Nations Development AssistanceFramework (UNDAF), as part of the Secretary-General’s programme of reforms. The Sub-Group’sresponsibility is to finalize the UNDAF guidelines and global support system in order to facilitate UNDAFimplementation and future scaling-up. To this effect, from 29 September to 1 October a workshop will beheld in Turin to provide recommendations to the General Assembly on ways to improve these twoinstruments. These recommendations will be discussed by the GA in the context of the triennialcomprehensive policy review this fall.

Contact: Massimo D’Angelo, Tel. (212) 963-4731, Fax (212) 963-2812

Workshop on a rights-based approach to women's empowerment and advancement and genderequality
Rome, 5-7 October

This workshop of members of the United Nations Inter-Agency Committee on Women and GenderEquality, and of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) DevelopmentAssistance Committee (DAC) Working Party on Gender Equality will be held at FAO Headquarters.

Its purpose is to review and clarify the understanding and implications of a rights-based approach towomen's empowerment and advancement and gender equality, taking account of both policy andoperational considerations. The workshop is expected to develop a common framework among participantswith regard to the practical implications and benefits of a rights-based approach to policy development andprogramming.

The workshop will provide a unique opportunity to examine ways to merge protection andpromotion of human rights and the realization of gender equality - two equally important objectives of theinternational community - at the programmatic and policy level. In this regard, the workshop will link theresults of the ECOSOC Agreed Conclusion 1997/2 on gender mainstreaming and the outcome of theCouncil's consideration, in its coordination segment of July 1998 on system-wide coordination in the fieldof human rights. The workshop will also build on recent work of the Commission on the Status ofWomen, the Commission on Human Rights, and on the policies, activities and experiences already in placeat the bilateral and multilateral levels.

Documentation: Aide-mémoire for the Workshop on a rights-based approach to women's empowerment and advancement and gender equality (available from room DC2-1215).

Contact: Christine Brautigam, Tel: (212) 963-0535, E-mail: brautigam@un.org

Expert Group Meeting on the Use of Macro Accounts in Policy Analysis
New York, 5-9 October

The Statistics Division, in cooperation with the Development Policy Analysis Division, is organizingthis meeting as part of a series of expert group meetings on the implementation of the internationalguidelines of the System of National Accounts 1993 (1993 SNA). The main objective of the meeting is todetermine whether macro accounting, i.e. national economic and satellite accounting, being an intermediatedata system for analysis, may help in establishing a more effective link between data and the analysis basedthereon, and thus improve the dialogue between data analysts on the one hand and statisticians on the other.The meeting is organized in response to the needs of many Governments to determine priorities and maketheir statistical services as responsive as possible to policy users. The agenda includes four topics: (a)Assessment of data needs of countries and international organizations for policy analysis and of how farnational accounts meet those needs; (b) Discussion of those fields that are reflected in the accounts andwhich are already integrated with analysis, such as input-output, Social Accounting Matrices (SAMs),income distribution and flow of funds; ( c ) Review of the possibilities of integrating modeling with longand short-term forecasting, with extensions to satellite accounting and analysis including environmentalaccounting and accounting for integrated socio-economic analysis; (d) Considering the possibilities ofintegrating the techniques to measure variables in accounting and parameters in analysis.

Contact: Jan van Tongeren, Tel (212) 963-4859, Fax (212) 963-1374, E-mail: vantongeren@un.org or Cristina Hannig, Tel.(212) 963-4854, Fax (212) 963-4854, E-mail: hannig@un.org

International Conference on Internationalization of the Economy, Environmental Problems and NewPolicy Options: Development, Empirical Analysis and Institutional Innovations
Potsdam (Berlin), 15-17 October

Peter Bartelmus, Chief, Environment, Energy and Industry Statistics Branch, will present a paperon "Greening the National Accounts - Approach and Policy Use". The Conference is hosted and organizedby the European Institute for International Relations at the University of Potsdam.

Second Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD II)
Tokyo, 19-21 October

The First Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD I) held in October1993, adopted the Tokyo Declaration on African Development, which was based on Africa’s ownership ofits development and emphasized the importance of strengthening the partnership with the internationalcommunity. TICAD II aims at formulating an Agenda for Action for African development, taking intoaccount the challenges facing African countries and the international community towards the 21st century. It will continue to honour the spirit of ownership of African countries and the global partnership inaccordance with the DAC/OECD New Development Strategy. African countries, Asian partners, donorcountries and international organizations are expected to define their respective and joint roles and to makea commitment to implement the approaches and actions to be identified in the selected priority areas of theAgenda for Action.

The co-organizers of the Conference are the Government of Japan, the Office of the SpecialCoordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries in the Department of Economic and SocialAffairs (OSCAL/DESA), UNDP, and the Global Coalition for Africa (GCA). Participants will includerepresentatives of all African countries, 11 Asian countries, 16 donor countries, and six internationalorganizations (OAU, ECA, African Development Bank, IBRD, IMF, European Commission). African andnon-African NGOs, the private sector and United Nations agencies are also invited as observers.

Contact: Kimiko Uno, Tel. (212) 963-2166, Fax. (212) 963-3892, E-mail: uno@un.org

Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), Second Regular Session of 1998
New York, 30-31 October
The ACC will hold its second regular session of 1998 at United Nations Headquarters. The mainagenda items include: the causes of conflict and the promotion of peace and sustainable development inAfrica; the impact of the reform processes on the system’s overall effectiveness; activities related to‘Culture of Peace’; and a review of the follow-up to the ACC statement on the Commitment for Action toEradicate Poverty.


ADVISORY SERVICES

Missions

The Statistics Division will field several missions in the near future:

  • Shafeek Saleeb, Interregional Adviser on computers and informatics, to Djibouti, Egypt, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, and Kuwait.

  • Jan van Tongeren, Interregional Adviser on Macro-Accounting for Analysis and Policy Making, to Guatemala, Barbados, Curacao, Bolivia, Colombia, and Korea.

  • Iqbal Alam, Technical Adviser, to Iran in implementation of dual registration systems of vital statistics.

  • Carlos Ellis, Adviser on data processing, to Haiti, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Uganda.

  • Sirageldin Suleman, Technical Adviser, will present a paper at a civil registration workshop in Yemen.

  • Patrick Gerland, Computer Software Specialist, will present a paper at a workshop on geographic databases in Senegal.

*****

The Inter-American Development Bank is funding a mission for Abdel Hamid Bouab and WilliamRadburn to Buenos Aires, for the week of 10-14 August. The purpose of the mission is to clarify andfinalize arrangements for a project proposal submitted earlier to provide technical assistance to the Office ofthe Auditor General in the form of a comprehensive training programme. While there, several otherpotential projects will be explored with government officials.

Contact: William Radburn, Tel. (212) 963-8801, E-mail:radburn@un.org

*****

EMPRETEC Maroc

EMPRETEC Maroc is planning three Entrepreneurship Development Workshops on 12-23 October1998 and in November 1998 and February 1999 as part of a project to support local entrepreneurship andbusiness development.

EMPRETEC, an activity of the Division of Public Economics and Public Administration, aims atsupporting and promoting the development of small, growth-oriented enterprises by developing instrumentsand services including entrepreneurship and management training, support to the acquisition/transfer ofadvanced technology, and inter-company linkages at the national, regional and international levels.Participants will be selected following an outreach campaign to elicit applications.

The EMPRETEC Maroc Foundation is to ensure the long-term self-sustainability of the programme.Its founding members include among others the United Nations Secretariat through DESA, Microsoft andProcter & Gamble.

An activity under development is the formulation of a project document to continue internationalsupport to the EMPRETEC programme under a 3-year, $41.8 million Phase II. This is expected to attractfunding from a number of donors, including the Belgian and Italian cooperation agencies, USAID, theUnited Nations and the European Union. As part of the resource mobilization effort, a donors round tableis to be held in late 1998.

Contact: Angela Capati-Carusso, Tel. (212) 963-5318, Fax (212) 962-9681, E-mail:capati-carusso@un.org

*****

The Limits to Training

A recent ex post evaluation of a training programme for aid managers and accountants in Nigeria,backstopped by DESA, has pointed up the limits of training. While training can improve performance, itseffectiveness is multiplied by simultaneous reform of the systems used by the trainees.

For additional information on two separate evaluations, one led by a Nigerian consultant and one byan international consultant, contact: Michael Mimicopoulos, Tel. (212) 963-7565, E-mail:mimicopoulos@un.org


JUST ISSUED

Africa

Overview of African Development; 1997 Report

This is the first in a series of biennial reports on Africa’s development, taken in its overall context. It covers such areas as peace and security, good governance and democracy, economic development,human development, capacity building as well as initiatives on African development. It also highlightsprogress achieved in the last five years by African countries in those areas as well as the challenges ahead,and provides recommendations as appropriate.

A copy of the report can be obtained, free of charge, from the Office of the Special Coordinator,Room DC1-1038.

Contact: Makha Sarr, Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries, Tel. (212)963-5084, Fax (212) 963 3892, E-mail: sarr@un.org

Poverty Eradication in Africa: Selected Country Experiences

This links 14 case studies to the broader concept of poverty eradication in Africa. It shows whatactivities African Governments and the African civil society have been planning and undertaking toeradicate poverty, and it assesses their sustainability. The study provides various definitions and facets ofthe concept of poverty, and proposes specific social indicators for selected African countries. Furthermore,it discusses the many dimensions of the African poverty process, highlighting different approaches to itseradication, and contains a set of recommendations that underscore African initiatives for povertyeradication and show how other actors within the larger development context can foster a supportive andenabling environment towards African efforts.

A copy of the report can be obtained, free of charge, from the Office of the Special Coordinator,Room DC1-1038.

Contact: Ruth Engo, Tel. (212) 963 4780, E-mail: engo@un.org ; or Herta Kaschitz, Tel. (212) 9632692, E-mail: kaschitz@un.org ; both Fax (212) 963 3892.

Statistics

Monthly Bulletin of Statistics
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/304 Vol. LII - No. 4- April 1998
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/305 Vol. LII - No. 5-May 1998
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/306 Vol. LII - No. 6-June 1998

Provides monthly statistics on 60 subjects from over 200 countries and territories, together withspecial tables illustrating important economic developments. Quarterly data for significant world andregional aggregates are included regularly.

Contact: Gloria Cuaycong, Statistics Division, Tel.(212) 963-4865, Fax (212) 963-0623, E-mail:cuaycong@un.org

1996 Demographic Yearbook
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.R/27, Sales No. E/F.98.XIII.1

The Demographic Yearbook is a comprehensive collection of international demographic statistics,prepared by the Statistics Division of the United Nations. The Demographic Yearbook 1996, whichfeatures mortality as the special topic is the forty-eighth edition in a series published by the United Nationssince 1948.

Contact: Alice Clague, Statistics Division, Tel: (212) 963-4972, Fax (212) 963-1940, E-mail: clague@un.org

Population and Vital Statistics Report
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.A/205
Series A, Vol. L, No. 2: Data available as of 1 April 1998

This issue of the Population and Vital Statistics Report presents 1996 and 1997 estimates of worldand continental populations, as well as corresponding 1996 estimates of 229 countries or areas of the world,which are listed separately in the Report. Also shown for each country or area are the results of the latestnationwide census of population (total, male and female) and, wherever possible, nationally representativestatistics of live births, deaths and infant deaths (deaths under one year of age) for the most recent yearavailable. Contact: Manuel Otero, Tel: (212) 963-4970, Fax (212) 963-1940, E-mail: otero@un.org

National Accounts Statistics: Main Aggregates and Detailed Tables, 1994 Part I and II
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.X/23, Part I and II, Sales No. E.97.XVII.6

This is the thirty-eighth issue of National Accounts Statistics: Main Aggregates and Detailed Tablesshowing detailed national accounts estimates for 175 countries and areas. Like the previous issues, it hasbeen prepared by the Statistics Division with the co-operation of national statistical services. It is issued inaccordance with the request of the Statistical Commission that the most recent available data on nationalaccounts for as many countries and areas as possible be published regularly.

Contact: Felizardo Suzara, Tel: (212) 963-4856, Fax: (212) 963-1374, E-mail: suzara@un.org

Pilot Compilation of Environmental-Economic Accounts

The joint UNDP, Korea Environment Institute (KEI), DESA report Pilot Compilation ofEnvironmental-Economic Accounts has been published by KEI. The report describes the approach andresults of a first application of the UN System of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA) in the Republic of Korea. Air and water pollution create the mainenvironmental costs. These costs reduced the conventional Net Domestic Product (NDP) by about 3%annually during 1986-1992.

Sustainable Development

Consumer Protection for Asia and the Pacific
Report of the International Conference on Consumer Protection: Consumers in the Global Age

ST/ESA/257, Sales No. E.98.II.A.1

DESA has just published Sales publication ST/ESA/257 containing the report and the proceedings ofthe International Conference on Consumer Protection: Consumers in the Global Age, which took place inNew Delhi, from 22 to 24 January 1997. It was a joint initiative of DESA, Consumers International andthe Consumer Unity and Trust Society of India, and was also supported by the Governments of India andthe Netherlands, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the European Commission,UNDP, Consumers Union of the United States of America and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation of Germany.It was attended by more than 200 government officials, consumer leaders, experts and delegates ofintergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. The issues covered included environmentalconcerns, the role of Asian and Pacific countries in promoting sustainable development, regional andinternational cooperation in consumer protection, access to basic needs, and consumer rights.

The Conference adopted an overall resolution calling for the establishment of a group to amend theGuidelines for Consumer Protection, as adopted by the General Assembly in 1985 (GA res. 39/248); theelaboration of a model law on consumer protection for the countries of the Asia and Pacific region; theestablishment by Consumers International of regional working groups on trade and economics; and accessto the World Trade Organization working groups on trade and investment and on trade and competitionpolicy.

The Asia and Pacific Consumer Protection Network, to be composed of government officials fromthe region, was established by the Conference.

Contact: Erik Brandsma, Tel. (212) 963-0013, Fax. (212) 963-4260, E-mail: brandsma@un.org

MEETINGS HELD

Fifth London Group Meeting on Environmental and Natural Resources Accounting
Fontevraud, 25-28 May

The Group agreed on a work programme that would contribute to the review/revision of the UnitedNations System of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA). The Group agreed on a broadoutline of the revised SEEA, consisting of 6 clusters, an overall framework, asset accounts, physical flows withlinkages to monetary data, environmental protection expenditures accounts, valuation and applications of thecompilations results. Participants signed up for contributions to the different clusters. In order to facilitate the discussion by a broader constituency, the draft chapters will be available on theInternet. A draft report consolidating the different clusters will be prepared and discussed at the sixth meetingin Canberra in November 1999. A Coordinating Committee consisting of UNSD, Eurostat and Statistics Canadawas established to oversee and coordinate the work of the different clusters and assist the Australian Bureauof Statistics in organizing the next London Group meeting. Contact: Alessandra Alfieri, Tel. (212) 963-4590, Fax (212) 963-0623, E-mail: alfieri@un.org

ACC Subcommittee on Statistical Activities
New York, 16-18 June

The Subcommittee held its thirty-second session from 16 to 18 June 1998. The main items on theagenda were: coordination of the follow-up to the statistical implications of recent major United Nationsconferences, inventory of all indicators produced by the United Nations system, an integrated presentation ofplans of international organizations in statistical methodology, and environment statistics. The UNSD providedsubstantive and technical secretariat and prepared documentation on most of the agenda items.

The main conclusions were as follows:

(a) The Subcommittee supported the establishment of a Development Indicators Web Site. UNSDwill provide substantive support to, and work with, the agencies in the preparation of their information for theWeb Site, commencing with FAO, ILO and UNESCO. UNSD will also begin work on the rationalization andharmonization of indicators through the United Nations Development Framework (UNDAF) process onindicators for the Common Country Assessment, and continue its work with the core indicators programme ofthe Development Assistance Committee of OECD. This will necessarily be an incremental process. FinallyDESA will discuss with UNEP the extent to which UNEP could provide leadership in harmonizing andrationalizing environmental indicators.

(b) UNSD will present to the Statistical Commission at its 1999 session, the work plans ofinternational organizations on statistical methodology, based on information to be inputted by organizations intoa Web Page system designed by UNSD as a result of a pilot study carried out by it and ILO, the IMF and theWorld Bank.

( c ) The Information Systems Coordination Committee is developing a United Nations System Extranet(Inter-agency Internet). Limited operational coverage is expected by the end of 1998 but a full productionenvironment is expected around mid 1999. A number of technical, organizational, planning, managerial andobjectival questions were raised and discussed. Organizations will consult the focal points for this projectinternally before proceeding.

(d) The Subcommittee recommended that environment statistics concentrate on the natural environment. There is progress including: the development of a set of fifty indicators with or through the preparation of aquestionnaire, including definitions and methodological concepts coordinated through the United Nations andOECD; and the development of environmental accounting through the London Group on environmentalaccounting.

Contact: Richard Roberts, Tel. (212) 963-6037, Fax (212) 963-9851, E-mail: roberts@un.org

Baden Baden and the Six-Country Initiative
29 June to 3 July

This initiative is co-sponsored by the Governments of Finland, Germany, Honduras, Indonesia, Ugandaand the United Kingdom, in close cooperation with the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests Secretariat, UNDPand FAO, in support of Category I (a) of the IFF Programme of Work, concerning promoting and facilitatingimplementation of Intergovernmental Panel on Forests’ Proposals for Action.

The International Expert Consultation under this initiative was held in Baden Baden, Germany. It wasattended by 109 experts from 37 countries in all regions as well as from international organizations, NGOs andthe private sector. Both IFF co-chairs, Ambassador Bagher Asadi, Islamic Republic of Iran, and AmbassadorIlkka Ristimaki, Finland, participated in the consultation. Tage Michaelsen represented the IFF Secretariat.

Workshop on Data Processing for South Pacific Islands
Suva, Fiji, 29 June-17 July

The Workshop was co-hosted by the Bureau of Statistics of Fiji, the Population Studies Programme ofthe University of the South Pacific (USP) and the US Bureau of the Census. It was a follow up to therecommendations reached at a seminar organized by United Nations Statistics Division on Strategies for the2000 Round of Censuses in the Pacific held at Nadi, Fiji in December 1997 in cooperation with UNFPA,ESCAP and the South Pacific Commission (SPC).

The Workshop was attended by participants from SPC and the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, MarshallIslands, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Western Samoa, American Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, andVanuatu. The lecturers were Mr. Carlos Ellis of UNSD and Mr. Michael J. Levin of the US Bureau of theCensus.

What have we learned one year into the financial crisis in emerging-market economies?
New York, 21-23 July

The International Economic Relations Branch of the Development Policy Analysis Division organizeda meeting of UN economists this July whereby our counterparts in the Survey Branches from the regionalcommissions could join us and staff of other Secretariat departments, IMF, the World Bank and others insharing the results of our thinking and research on a problem that has taken on global dimensions.

The core of the meeting was presentations by staff of DESA and the regional commissions on the crisesin Asia and on recent financial volatility and fragility in Latin America, Africa and the European economiesin transition. In each case, the focus was on policies to cope with and contain international financial volatility. The meeting also considered recent UN research on foreign direct investment (UNCTAD) and financial marketbehaviour (DESA). Important contributions to the discussions were made by participants from IMF, the WorldBank, the African Development Bank, UNDP and UNICEF, as well as by senior officials from manufacturing,insurance and financial firms, labour (AFL/CIO), and academics. The proceedings of the meeting are to bepublished by United Nations University Press with a target release date of January 1999.

NEW ON THE WEB

The Economic and Social Development page (www.un.org/esa/) maintained by the Department isnow directly accessible from the United Nations home page: click on Economic and Social Development at http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/index.html . This assures greater visibility and a platform for greater impact to the programmes of theDepartment, and the entire economic and social sector of the Organization, covered by the page.

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All main documents of the Substantive Session of 1998 of ECOSOC were posted by ISU at: http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/1998doc.htm . Resolutions will be posted as soon as available. Documents andresolutions of earlier sessions are available at the same location.

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A new Gateway to Social Policy and Development has been posted by the Division for SocialPolicy and Development (DSPD) at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/ The page covers major activities of theprogramme and gives heed to being accessible to people with disabilities.

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A page on information for NGOs has been posted at:http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ngo , maintainedby the NGO Unit of the Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination.

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The first two chapters of the forthcoming World Economic and Social Survey can be found at: http://www.un.org/esa/analysis/wess/wess98.htm posted by the Development Policy Analysis Division.

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The Sustainable Development Division has posted at http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/watbase.htm atable containing information on UN databases related to water and links to their home pages. This table willbe continuously updated as soon as additional information becomes available.

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The Web-page on Changing Consumption and Production Patterns http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/conprod.htm has recently been expanded. It now includes detailed informationabout the International Work Programme on Changing Consumption and Production Patterns, thecomprehensive review of this topic that will take place at the 7th session of the Commission on SustainableDevelopment in 1999, a complete list of documents and publications, meetings and conferences, andinformation about national activities. The page invites reactions, suggestions, and ideas related to theconsumption-production topic and to the activities planned for next year. It also invites readers to come upwith a Quote that best reflects sustainable consumption and production patterns. The page includes abulletin board, News and Trends , where you can keep abreast of developments and where information onmeetings and publications related to changing consumption and production patterns can be posted.

For more information, contact Erik Brandsma, tel (212) 963 00 13, or Catherine Rubbens, tel (212)963 52 43, fax (212) 963 42 60, e-mail: rubbens@un.org

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The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) site at http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/sids.htm nowcontains the following: Excerpts from the Programme of Action; List of SIDS containing nationalinformation on countries such as Mauritius, Sao Tome and Principe, Singapore, Bahrain, Cyprus;Vulnerability Index; Resource Mobilization; Special Session of the GA on SIDS.

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Documentation of the forthcoming second session of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests can befound at: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/iffsessions.htm

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WOMENWATCH maintained by the Division for the Advancement of Women, in cooperation withUNIFEM and INSTRAW, has added the documents and press releases of the 19th session of CEDAW (22June-10 July) at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/19thsess.htm

The section on "News and Views" lists the vacancies at the UN and in the UN family and if thereare posts specifically related to women, there is an arrow pointing to that particular vacancy, e.g. "GenderAdviser for the UN in Afghanistan". This can be found at:http://www.un.org/womenwatch/news/vacancy/index.html

Under "Women's Studies" at: http://www.un.org/Pubs/text98/women98.htm , you can find a selection of books for 1998.